-Challenges Them On Home Grown Solutions*
Tony Ailemen, Abuja
African Central Bank Governors currently meeting in Abuja have been charged by President Muhammadu Buhari to intensify measures to stop illicit flows of funds out of the Continent
This is just as he also seeks strong measures to ensure that proceeds of these illicit flows are repatriated to countries of origin with minimal bureaucratic hitches.
These were part of the remarks of the President on Thursday while declaring open, the 2016 Governors Symposium and the 39th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Governors of the Association of African Central Banks, in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city.
The President who reviewed efforts made so far at addressing Africa’s economic challenges, using the conventional macro and micro economic policies, urged the Continent’s financial eggheads to look beyond them and develop home grown initiatives to tackle current economic crises facing the continent.
He called on them to continue to look for original home-grown solutions, rather than continue to rely on “fit for all purposes” prescriptions handed down from abroad,” adding that ” the world is a dynamic place and with innovation, we can survive”
“I sincerely hope that this year’s event would generate discussions and provide viable policy options that would assist to resolve the numerous economic challenges facing the continent”
“Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, I believe that the theme of this year’s Symposium—“Unwinding Unconventional Monetary Policies: Implications for Monetary Policy and Financial Stability in Africa”— covers contemporary issues and is of special relevance to us in Africa. It corresponds with a period when African economies are confronted with a number of growing and sometimes extraneous challenges that constitute threats to growth and the stability of our financial systems”
The President however, expressed the confidence that the meeting will “come up with practical ways by which we can chart a way forward for the growth and development of Africa”
He lamented the current economic challenges facing the region, saying that it ” is confronted with several global and domestic economic challenges. Most worrisome is the slowdown in growth; weakening global demand; rising inflation; restrictions in capital flows; rising debt levels; increased exchange rate volatility and depleting external reserves”
“Those of us who rely on only natural resources such as Nigeria, Angola, South Africa, and Mozambique have been hit the hardest. We have also had to contend with the effect of the Ebola Virus Disease, which struck some countries in the West-African Sub-region. Furthermore, China, a major trade and business partner to a number of African countries is currently slowing down as it remodels its economy, sparking fears of further weakening”
“Faced with these challenges, African Central Banks have been at their best in keeping African economies afloat through proactive and effective combination of conventional and innovative monetary policies. I urge you to continue to look for original home-grown solutions, not to rely on “fit for all purposes” prescriptions handed down from abroad. The world is a dynamic place and with innovation, we can survive”
“Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, we fully understand that monetary policy alone is not sufficient to bring about desired economic growth. We must carefully balance monetary and fiscal policy measures”
“For us in Nigeria, while recognizing the challenges we are confronted with and the need to surmount them, we are determined to diversify the economy away from excessive reliance on oil and other primary products. Consequently, we are taking measures and implementing policies that would ensure we are self-sufficient, generate massive employment for millions of our youth, and explore our untapped human and natural resources”
“We shall also embark on export and production diversification steps including investment in infrastructure; promotion of manufacturing through agro-based industries and expansion of Regional Trade. All these would involve integrating the informal economy into the mainstream and providing funds to Small and Medium Enterprises. We shall also continue, with greater determination and focus to pursue our goal of ensuring improved security for our country and its citizens, and without letting up on our fight against corruption and terrorism”
“Side by side, with economic stimulus measures, we must intensify our surveillance and give guidance to the operations of our financial institutions to reverse the trend of illicit flows of funds out of Africa. We should all be serious in putting place measures aimed at ensuring that the proceeds of these illicit flows are repatriated to their countries of origin with minimal bureaucratic hitches”.